Ajax goalkeeper Andre Onana has been handed a 12-month suspension for neglecting an out-of-competition doping test, with the club alleging their number one accidentally took medicine prescribed for his wife.
The Eredivisie club disclosed the Cameroon international has been banned by UEFA after it found the forbidden substance Furosemide in his urine, following the test in October 2020.
The doping suspension is effective from February 5 and applies to all football activities.
statement on the Ajax website says: “On the morning of October 30, Onana was feeling unwell. He wanted to take a pill to ease his pain. Unknowingly, nonetheless, he took Lasimac, a drug that his wife had previously been prescribed.
“Onana’s confusion derived in him mistakenly taking his wife’s medicine, eventually causing this measure to be taken by UEFA against the goalkeeper.
“Furthermore, the disciplinary body of the football association has stated that Onana had no motive of cheating. Yet, the European Football Association believes, based on the adequate anti-doping rules, that an athlete has a duty at all times to ensure that no banned substances enter the body.”
The Dutch club, currently seven points clear at the top of the Eredivisie, confirmed they will appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).
Ajax managing director and former goalkeeper Edwin van der Sar said: “We explicitly reject performance-enhancing drugs, we stand for a clean sport.
“This is a horrible obstacle, for Andre himself but also us as a club. Andre is a top goalkeeper, who has proven his worth for Ajax for years and is very popular with the fans.
“We had hoped for a conditional suspension or a suspension much shorter than these 12 months because it was arguably not aimed at to strengthen his body and thus improve his performance.”
Onana is banned from all football, meaning he will not be available for Ajax’s domestic or European matches, including their Europa League campaign this season. They face Lille in the last 32 later this month.
He will also be unavailable for Cameroon until February 2022, including the Africa Cup of Nations – should they qualify – which has been rescheduled to January next year. The final two games of their qualifying games are in March, away to Cape Verde and home to Rwanda.